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Currys launches ‘Cash for Trash’ scheme for unwanted tech


Currys has launched a ‘Cash for Trash’ trial scheme enabling consumers with old, broken or unwanted tech to trade the items at its stores for at least a £5 voucher.

From today to 15 April, anyone in the UK can take their unwanted electronics to their nearest Currys store in exchange for a voucher or trade-in deal.

As part of its Cash for Trash trial, Currys said that if the item has a trade-in value it can potentially be traded in for a higher value product, cash or a Curry’s voucher, 

Tech like TVs and small domestic appliances can be traded in for hundreds of pounds off new products at Currys, the retailer said.

Trial scheme: Currys has launched a ‘Cash for Trash’ trial scheme all over the UK

At present, Currys is offering £100 off any TV over £1,000, when a customer trades-in their old one. Customers can also currently get up to £40 off selected small appliances when they trade-in an old gadget. 

Lindsay Haselhurst, chief supply chain officer at Currys, said: ‘We are already helping thousands of customers recycle unwanted tech every day. 

‘But Cash for Trash aims to take it to the next level. 

‘This trial is all about making recycling easy and rewarding. 

‘We’re urging the nation to look in drawers, under the sofa and up in the loft – as these unused tech devices that have seen better days could be repaired, rehomed, or recycled into something new. 

‘We really are accepting any tech, bought from anywhere, even if it’s broken – it might look like trash, but it isn’t to us.’

Four things to consider BEFORE you wipe data from your device

The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre has devised a handy list of four things to consider before taking the plunge and wiping data from your tech device:

1. Make sure you have a backup copy of all the personal data that you want to keep.

2. If you use your device to access online services, like banking, shopping, email or social media, you might be logging into these services without entering your password each time. 

If this is the case, make sure you know which accounts you access, and the logins and passwords for each of these accounts, before you erase your data. 

3. If you use your device to control any of your ‘smart’ devices around the house, like security cameras or thermostats, you will no longer be able to manage them using your phone. Again, make sure you are able to manage them using a different device, before you wipe your data.

4. If you use your device to verify your online accounts – for example, by confirming SMS codes – you’ll need to make sure this works on another device. Make sure you do this and check that it works before you erase the data on the device that you’re selling or giving away.

Source: National Cyber Security Centre 

She added: ‘Cash for Trash is good for consumers’ wallets and for the planet. 

‘You can be confident that your tech will be handled responsibly by the thousands of dedicated Currys colleagues who are experts in diagnosing and advising on the best outcome for unwanted and broken items – whether that’s repairing, refurbishing, or recycling.’

Currys said it collects around 5,500 thousand tonnes of tech a month, adding that it was hoping to surpass this via the Cash for Trash trial this month.   

How to wipe data from devices 

It is important to, where possible, wipe all personal data from electronic devices before getting them recycled, handing them in for a trade-in, selling them or even giving an item to someone else like a friend. 

Sensitive personal data needs to be wiped from devices to ensure it cannot get into the hands of anyone with sinister intentions, like fraudsters. Otherwise, information like banking details, passwords, emails, SMS messages and phone calls can be recovered and used.

Here, Joe Clarke, a cyber incident response team consultant at Secure Impact, outlines points to note when wiping data from specific devices like Mac laptops:

Windows

Microsoft have made it quick and easy to securely clear your data off machines running Windows 10, whether it’s a laptop or desktop. 

To do this head into settings from the start menu, then ‘Update & Security’ and finally ‘Recovery’. Select ‘Get Started’ under ‘Reset this PC’ and choose to remove everything.

Android

Android devices do not always have the option to securely wipe the device in the same location as each manufacturer may place it somewhere different, but it can usually be found in settings under ‘System’. 

Selecting ‘Erase all data (Factory Reset)’ here will remove all your data from the device. If this setting isn’t there on your device you can easily find it by opening up settings and then searching ‘reset’.

iPhone/iPad

Removing your data from iOS devices (that is, iPhones or iPads) is a simple process. 

Open up the Settings menu and then the General sub menu. In this menu you can select ‘Erase all Content and Settings’ which will remove your data from the device and return it to a clean state. Note that you will be prompted to enter your Apple ID password when selecting this option.

Mac Devices

Apple Mac desktop and laptop devices are slightly more drawn out than their handheld counterparts. 

All connected devices such as iCloud, iMessage and iTunes accounts should all be disassociated through their respective menus prior to booting the device in recovery mode (holding the Command key + R on startup). 

From here you need to select the Disk Utility application from the list. Next, you will need to select ‘Macintosh HD’ (unless an alternative name for the drive was chosen on creation) and erase the device and re-install the operating system.

It said: ‘The tech collected will then be screened and recycled or repaired and rehomed, saving old tech from going to landfill. 

‘Currently in the UK, at least 155,000 tons of tech still ends up in landfill every year.’

According to data from the Environmental Audit Committee, around 527million items of unused tech are being hoarded in homes and businesses up and down the country.

A recent poll by Currys via YouGov revealed that 67 per cent of the tech hoarded was mobile phones. Old cameras, speakers headphones, hairstyling products, old landline phones, and to a lesser extent, even white goods, are also gathering dust in many people’s homes.  

The research also found that nearly four in 10 Britons would be more likely to use a tech recycling scheme if there was monetary incentive or assurance that their personal data was being disposed of properly.

While just under a quarter of all people with unused tech said they found potential recycling schemes for their unused electronics confusing or inconvenient, 21 per cent of this group admitted they did not know how to dispose of e-waste responsibly, Currys said.

Where else can I get rid of my unwanted tech? 

There are a variety of different ways people and businesses here in the UK can get rid of unwanted tech items, either for money or for nothing in return but the feel-good factor. 

On a corporate level, ComputerAid helps big and small businesses donate unwanted items like computers and laptops, tablets and smartphones. These are then data-wiped, professionally refurbished and used across ComputerAid’s projects around the world ‘to help bridge the digital divide.’

At the consumer level, businesses like CeX will give you cash for items like smartphones, satellite navigation systems, speakers, headphones, laptops and cameras. The items will need to be in working order. Cash Generator offers a similar service. 

The MoneyMyTech website also gives people the chance to sell certain unwanted tech goods by following a number of steps. Customers will receive a quote for their old device, and will then post the device or have it collected from their home for free. MoneyMyTech says customers will be paid the same day their device arrives at its hub. In the case of laptops, the group says it accepts ‘virtually all makes and models of laptop, including MacBook, Chromebook, and laptops running Windows XP or newer.’

MusicMagpie also gives consumers the opportunity to sell their unwanted or broken tech for cash after getting a quick quote and sending the item in the post. 

Alternatively, WeeeCharity is a not-for-profit UK registered charity that helps to relieve poverty by offering a free ‘complete recycling’ of computers and electrical equipment to businesses, consumers and education facilities. The equipment can be new, working or at the end of its life, and can be taken in regardless of the condition it is in.

While not a charity, consumers can also get rid of their unwanted tech via Freecycle. 

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